bowlegs (genu varum), outward curvature of the leg bone (tibia) or thighbone (femur) causing the knees to separate when the feet are placed together. When the condition is severe enough to be considered a deformity, the cause is usually a disorder that occurs early in life such as rickets, flat feet, a congenital disease, or an injury. Bowlegs can be corrected mechanically by braces, shoe wedges, or other orthopedic devices. In some cases the bone is straightened surgically.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.